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Cross-couple is an adjective denoting that a relationship or activities occur between two people who are each members of different couples.
As cross-couple is used to describe situations involving people who are intimately involved with multiple partners, the term is most commonly used in non-monogamous communities, including polyamorous and swingers circles.
Cross-couple can be used to describe various situations and activities. For example, a cross-couple relationship is a relationship comprised of two individuals who are also part of other couples outside the relationship described. Cross-couple kissing is kissing that could occur during group sex or a swingers’ party, for example, when the people kissing are both intimately involved with other people. Cross-couple intimacy often develops in a V, quad, or some other kind of group relationship, when intimacy grows between people who were not previously dating one another.
As cross-couple activities and relationships are always non-monogamous, safer sexual practices are crucial. The more partners that one individual and his or her intimate partners have, the greater the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms and other barriers, such as dental dams, can reduce the risks. People may decide to use barriers for all partners during group sex, or only for cross-couple activities. Regular testing for sexually transmitted diseases is also important. The members of a closed cross-couple relationship may have sex without condoms so long as all parties are tested for sexually transmitted diseases and committed to only having sex within the agreed relationships.